Data from a recent study conducted by Ohio’s Bowling Green State University reveals that there is a significant increase in the number of people aged 50-years-old and above who are getting a divorce. The divorce rate among those between the ages of 46 to 64, also known as Baby Boomers, has risen by over 50% in the last 20 years. In 1970, the number of divorced couples in this age bracket was only 13%.
This phenomenon of divorce among those over the age of 50 has been coined “Gray Divorce.” This type of divorce may seem odd, especially when taken into consideration that Census data shows divorce rates in the country have stabilized overall, but the numbers have only spiked upwards among the older population.
Reasons for older clients wanting out of a marriage are often very similar to those of a younger individual, such as domestic verbal or physical abuse, debt, and infidelity. Other common reasons behind divorce among the elderly are gambling, alcohol or drug addiction, or overspending on credit cards or strip clubs. In some situations, an individual seeks a divorce because his or her partner is bipolar.
Apart from family law and divorce lawyers and divorce mediators, marriage and family counselors are also seeing more seniors on a regular basis. These seniors, often on the verge of a divorce, simply report that they are unhappy. These older individuals have lived long lives, and may be evaluating their goals, dreams and bucket lists at this point, and figuring out if their spouses fit in with these dreams ad hopes.
When a 53-year-old female was asked about her reason for divorcing her husband, she stated that she was seeking more adventure in life, and that her husband wanted to keep the status quo. She did not wish to live a dull life any longer, and believed that her decision was the right one for both of them.
A professional marriage therapist revealed that she believed older couples decide to call it quits late in life is because of unexpected stress in these individuals’ golden years, especially financial stress and external stress which may lead to marital conflict.
A god book older couples experiencing difficulties with their marriage can read is written Dr. John Gottman, a relationship expert and author of the book “What Makes Love Last.” In his latest book, Dr. Gottman reveals various actions that couples can take to build and strengthen trust in a relationship.
Divorce is not dependent on the age of couple and sadly, the numbers show that more and more of the older population are seeking a way out of their marriages. Couples considering divorce should first see a therapist or counselor, especially when they have been together for a very long time.
If you’re considering getting a divorce in North Carolina, you should first contact an experienced NC divorce attorney from The McIlveen Family Law Firm at (704) 865-901 to get guidance on your case.